Pacific Northwest
Siuslaw News

OR - 'With this fix, our ports and harbors will have the resources they so desperately need'

Port funding to increase once bill gains approval

Jan. 9, 2021 — The Port of Siuslaw received some unexpected good news this week in an announcement made by the office of U.S. House of Representative Peter DeFazio, who stated that the previously unavailable revenue stream, “The Harbor Trust Fund,” has been reclassified and — pending expected presidential approval — can be used by Oregon coastal communities with a need for additional financial support.

This funding became available in large part due to the efforts of DeFazio acting in his role as Chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. DeFazio updated the Siuslaw News after passage of the bipartisan Water Resources Development Act of 2020 (WRDA), which includes important provisions to ensure that Harbor Maintenance Funds are used for harbor maintenance.

The measure now heads to the president’s desk to be signed into law.

“This is a tremendous victory for Oregon’s coastal communities. For decades, I have fought to unlock the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund and ensure that funds already collected for harbor maintenance are fully utilized to keep our local ports dredged and jetties maintained,” DeFazio said. “Finally, WRDA 2020 fulfils that goal.”

The bill achieves a 50-percent increase in funding for small harbors, like the Port of Gold Beach and the Port of Siuslaw, and a provision that allows harbor maintenance funds to be seamlessly spent on the maintenance of adjacent marinas as well as jetties.

This funding will be put to immediate use paying for planned projects, such as the Coos Bay North Jetty rehabilitation and maintenance dredging along the coast.

Read more.